"I'm Supposed to Respond to the People and Try to Make Them Happy"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
i m supposed to respond to the people and try to make them happy

No, it's not Heidi Fleiss talking. It's a different kind of prostitute: Florida Governor Charles "Charlie" Crist. I kid, I kid. But that's Charlie's ultimate justification for hopping on the summer gas tax holiday bandwagon (there's got to be a Cliff Richard joke in there somewhere). Speaking to the The New York Times, Charlie says he's been "struggling" to cut 10 cents a gallon from the Sunshine State's gas taxes. And yes, he knows it doesn't mean shit, moneywise. But that's not the point. "'It’s about trying to serve the people and trying to understand and have caring, compassionate hearts for what they’re dealing with at the kitchen table,' said Mr. Crist, a Republican." Wow! A Republican said that? And now a word from the Law of Unintended Consequences. "Since 2000, four states have enacted gas tax holidays: Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Indiana. In general, retailers did not pass on all of the intended savings… During the last gas tax suspension in Florida in 2004, people hoarded gasoline, driving up demand and prices." D'oh! And, to conclude, a little not-so-subtle Bush bashing. "Several drivers, even in Republican strongholds, blamed President Bush for high gasoline prices because of his support for oil companies and the war in Iraq. Others suggested consumer sacrifices like a return to the national speed limit of 55 miles per hour, which would conserve gas but have little immediate impact on prices." Several? Others? Oh brother.

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4 of 23 comments
  • AKM AKM on May 06, 2008
    @ AKM: I’m curious, how do you think the U.S. managed to survive, grow, and become the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world during its first 150 years with no income, social security, property, unemployment, sales, etc., etc., taxes? Back at a time where a village was self-sufficient. It would be like comparing a horse cart with a Ford explorer. Note that I didn't say taxes were used efficiently, simply that they are (sadly) unavoidable. I also note that while you make fun of the specific examples I use, which is easy since the government is generally inefficient, you don't address the basic point I make, which is that our society cannot thrive without regulation. I wish it could, but because the size of our society has grown so much and has developed externalities, it is not possible anymore. I guess I just don't believe in the utopia that perfect capitalism is, as theorized by Ayn Rand or even Adam smith, no more than I believe in the utopia of communism. Both rest on assumptions that simply overestimate the intelligence and morality of humans.

  • Wolven Wolven on May 06, 2008
    Both rest on assumptions that simply overestimate the intelligence and morality of humans. Ha, we're in total agreement there.

  • Voice of Sweden Voice of Sweden on May 06, 2008

    Filling up my V70 in Sweden is 120 USD, nothing compared to value loss on a 2005 each month.

  • Rtz Rtz on May 06, 2008

    Hell no to that 55 Jazz. It takes forever as it is to get anywhere at 70. You want 55; you go right ahead in that right lane.